Marco Canora — The Art of Food, Eating, Nutrition, and Life (#545)

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“It was deeply embedded in my soul, and I was singularly focused. To this day, I commiserate with my wife: I’m the opposite of a Renaissance man. I have been embedded in the world of restaurants and food and cooking for the entirety of my adult life.”

— Marco Canora

After years working with and training under Danny Meyer and Tom Colicchio at Gramercy Tavern and Craft, Chef Marco Canora (@marcocanora) opened Hearth in the East Village in 2003, before the neighborhood was a culinary destination. In 2014, Marco kicked off America’s embrace of bone broth with Brodo, serving bone broth in coffee cups out of a side window at Hearth. Over the years, Brodo has been recognized consistently as a bone broth pioneer in outlets such as The New York Times, Time, and Good Morning America. Visit Brodo.com to order some bone broth for yourself, or visit one of their several locations in New York City.

Marco’s first cookbook, Salt to Taste: The Key to Confident, Delicious Cooking was nominated for a James Beard Award. He is also the author of A Good Food Day and Brodo: a Bone Broth Cookbook.

Marco has been profiled in The New York Times, Serious Eats, and Food & Wine. He was a finalist on The Next Iron Chef, a judge on Chopped and Top Chef, and he has appeared on Today, The Chew, Good Morning America, Martha Stewart, and Nightline. In May 2017, Marco won the James Beard Award for Best Chef: New York City.

He lives, cooks, and gardens with his wife and two children in Yonkers, NY.

Please enjoy!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Amazon Musicor on your favorite podcast platform. You can watch the interview on YouTube here.

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The transcript of this episode can be found here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

#545: Marco Canora — The Art of Food, Eating, Nutrition, and Life

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What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

SCROLL BELOW FOR LINKS AND SHOW NOTES…

Want to hear an episode detailing how another restaurateur changed strategy to survive the pandemic? Listen to my conversation with Nick Kokonas, in which we discussed asymmetric risk-taking, safety steps in uncertain crises, pivoting from fine dining to carryout/delivery, recapitalization, managing supply chain disruptions, common but counterproductive mistakes made in the restaurant industry, Nick’s dad’s three-shoebox business finance model, and more.

#429: Nick Kokonas on Resurrecting Restaurants, Skin in the Game, and Investing
  • Connect with Marco Canora:

Hearth | Brodo | Instagram

SHOW NOTES

Note from the editor: Timestamps will be added shortly.

  • “Pardon my French, but does this Cabernet Franc taste assy to you?”
  • The Mantra.
  • Why would Marco rather hire someone who’s done a year of staging over a fresh culinary school graduate? For that matter, what does he mean by staging?
  • How did Marco get into cooking, and at what point did he consider it his calling?
  • What would people who have worked with Marco consider his superpowers?
  • The most common reasons someone might crumble under the pressure of a New York City restaurant kitchen, and the default stance of mise en place Marco suggests for alleviating this likelihood.
  • The hands-off type of mentorship that allowed Marco to grow and shine in places like Gramercy Tavern, and why Marco was able to thrive under these circumstances where others might literally be going up and down the stairs all day.
  • What type of reading keeps Marco constantly connected to what’s going on in his industry?
  • Why Marco is on a mission to spread the gospel of cooking.
  • How Marco narrowed down the list of restaurants where he wanted to work upon arriving in New York City, what that initial job hunt looked like, and the pitch that got the people he wanted to work for interested in giving him a “trail.”
  • What’s expected of a prospective hire on one of these trails?
  • Why did Marco decide to monitor his blood sugar with a continuous glucose monitor (CGM), and what did he learn from the experience?
  • “If you walk a hundred steps after you eat, you will live to be 99.”
  • Combine the macronutrients.
  • Why I’m eager to try the new generation of CGMs, and what I’ve learned about the effects of alcohol and temperature on my sleep thanks to the Oura Ring and Eight Sleep.
  • How Marco protected his CGM in the sauna.
  • It’s not what’s in the food, it’s what’s been done to the food. What is the NOVA classification system, how does it aim to make the level of processing through which our food goes more transparent, and why should this concern the average consumer?
  • What is Brodo, how did it help Marco and Hearth survive the pandemic, and what flavors have been popular?
  • How is Brodo now being brought to the masses, and what does Marco envision for the company’s future?
  • What would Marco’s billboard say?
  • Books Marco has gifted the most.
  • “Favorite” failure.
  • One reason you should never underestimate the little nagging things in a relationship — whether it’s personal or professional.
  • Sauna talk.
  • If the science isn’t working as intended, make sure you didn’t just forget to add the crab, that the research funding wasn’t sponsored by special interests, or that the great-great-great-great grandparents didn’t have some since-forgotten but very good reason for planting crops in weird places.
  • Parting thoughts.

MORE MARCO CANORA QUOTES FROM THE INTERVIEW

“I do believe that we could have a [Brodo] shop for every 50 Starbucks in the world because broth as a hot beverage is incredible. There’s a lot to it, and I would put it up against coffee any day of the week.”
— Marco Canora

“Cook your own food. I think our obsession with convenience and our beliefs that we can outsource something as important as cooking has been one of the main drivers in the ill health of this country.”
— Marco Canora

“Say less because it’s a better test.”
— Marco Canora

“Take a walk after you eat. The power of a walk to reduce the spike of your blood sugar, regardless of what you eat, is extraordinary.”
— Marco Canora

“Cooking is an incredible process that engages all of your senses, that gives you a high reward—from health to flavor, to community, to connectivity, to other people—and it’s really a path to so many of the things that I think we need to be better humans.”
— Marco Canora

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